Access to Information on the Environment
The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 – 2014(S.I. No. 133 of 2007, S.I. No. 662 of 2011 and S.I No. 615 of 2014) give legal rights to those seeking access to information on the environment from public authorities.
Subject to certain exceptions, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request to any person. The Regulations provide a definition of environmental information and outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities. The Regulations also provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.
Read copies of the Guidance Notes on the AIE Regulations *
* The cost of taking an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information is now €50 or €15 for holders, or dependent of holders of a medical card, and third parties appealing the decision to release certain information.
Making a request
Applications for Access to Information on the Environment should be made to:Freedom of Information Officer,
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
76-78 Harcourt Street
Dublin 2 Email: Freedom of Information Unit
When making a request for information under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations you are required to:
- State that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations
- Submit it in writing by post or by email
- Provide your contact details
- Specify the form and manner of access desired
Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 1 month of its receipt.
Appealing a decision
If you consider that your original request for environmental information was refused wholly or partially, or was otherwise not properly dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the AIE Regulations, you may, not later than one month following the receipt of the decision of the Department, request an internal review of the decision in part or in whole.
Note that no fee will be charged for the internal review process.
A written outcome of the review informing you of the decision, the reason for the decision and advising you of your right of appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information, including the time limits and fees associated with such an appeal, will be issued to you within one month of the date of receipt of the request. The cost of taking an appeal to the Commissioner for Environmental Information is €50 or €15 for holders, or dependent of holders of a medical card, and third parties appealing the decision to release certain information.
There is no initial fee for making an application under the AIE Regulations; however the Department may charge a reasonable fee for supplying the information requested. Depending on the volume of information to be released, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may charge for the time spent retrieving records which could, for example, include the cost of staff or other costs connected with searching, retrieving (€20.95 per hour), compiling or copying of the information (4 cent per sheet).